“We will be working with the news media and organizations in both states that share a passion for protecting children,” said Stephen Wright, M.D., chair of the Partnership to Eliminate Child Abuse and medical director of Kosair Children’s Hospital. “There is much need for education and awareness. People need to know that child abuse does not in any way discriminate and that anyone is capable of ‘losing it’ when caring for a crying infant.”
At today’s event, the crowd heard from two Louisville-area families whose lives have been forever altered by child physical abuse. Ebony Carson’s 15-month-old son, Cornell, sustained serious brain and physical injuries when he was shaken and beaten by Ebony’s boyfriend in October 2011. Kara Mellick’s 9-month-old daughter, Karlie, died in 2009 when she was shaken and beaten by Kara’s friend and neighbor.
The Partnership to Eliminate Child Abuse was founded earlier this year by Kentucky’s two children’s hospitals and three medical schools, including Kosair Children’s Hospital, UofL Pediatrics – Forensic Medicine, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, University of Kentucky – Department of Pediatrics, and University of Pikeville – Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Since its founding, the group has also been adding, and continues to add, many partner organizations that deal with child abuse issues.
Also at today’s announcement event, Indiana officials announced their participation in the effort, including Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health; Indiana University School of Medicine, Section of Child Protection Programs; and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent. This means that the Partnership now includes the four children’s hospitals and four medical schools in Kentucky and Indiana.
“When you consider that our group includes organizations that at times are direct competitors, it is indeed impressive that, in the effort to eliminate child abuse, we are united as one,” Dr. Wright said.